SilverQuest Consulting

Donald's presentation was delightfully entertaining, engaging, and motivating. . . the evening was filled with laughter and enjoyment. As a direct result of a very satisfied audience, four members of the audience stepped up to volunteer their time and skills to the Dallas Section ASQ. Thank you, Donald!

Kiami Rogers, Chair, American Society for Quality Dallas Section 1402


Baldrige Award Application

Congress established the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) in 1987 for manufacturers, service businesses, and small businesses. The education and healthcare categories were added in 1999. The MBNQA was designed to raise awareness of quality management and to recognize U.S. companies that have implemented successful quality-management systems.

The MBNQA actually consists of awards in five categories: manufacturing, services, small business, education, healthcare, and non-profit. Click here for more details. Recently Congress eliminated all funding for the MBNQA program, and as a result, the future of a national Baldrige award program is uncertain.

Texas and other states have a Baldrige award program. For example, the Quality Texas Foundation administers the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) every year. The TAPE is patterned after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and is an annual recognition of Texas organizations that excel in performance and the application of quality principles. Public and private businesses, government agencies, public and private educational organizations, and nonprofit organizations located in Texas are eligible to apply for the award. Click here for more details.

An independent board of examiners judges the organizations that apply for the TAPE. Recipients are selected based on achievement and improvement in seven areas, known as the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence:

  • Leadership – How upper management leads the organization, and how the organization leads within the community.
  • Strategic Planning – How the organization establishes and plans to implement strategic directions.
  • Customer and Market focus – How the organization builds and maintains strong, lasting relationships with customers.
  • Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management – How the organization uses data to support key processes and manage perormance.
  • Human Resource focus – How the organization empowers and involves its workforce.
  • Process Management – How the organization designs, manages and improves key processes.
  • Business/organizational Performance Results – How the organization performs in terms of customer satisfaction, finances, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operations, governance and social responsibility, and how the organization compares to its competitors.

Donald McLachlan is a Baldrige Consultant with expertise in the Baldrige award process. He has been an examiner, feedback editor, writer, and team leader. Several of his Baldrige consulting clients have won Baldrige awards at the state level and also applied for the MBNQA.


Studies by NIST, universities, business organizations, and the U.S. General Accounting Office have found that investing in quality principles and performance excellence pays off in:

  • Increased productivity
  • Satisfied employees and customers
  • Improved profitability—both for customers and investors

Winning a Baldrige award at the state level has outstanding prestige and can be used effectively in marketing your organization. This award is the gold medal for organizations.


If your organization is serious about quality and ready to invest time, energy and finances to make it happen, then you may be a candidate for a Baldrige award. Here are the critical success factors that make for a Baldrige award:

  • Strong leadership and buy-in from top management
  • Total commitment of all resources to quality and award process
  • Complete buy-in to award process by all employees
  • Benchmarking and metrics showing three years of positive trends in every area of the organization
  • Strategic Plan that links objectives, values, and metrics to results across the organization
  • An expert Baldrige consultant to guide organization through the award process

Would you like to apply for a Baldrige award? Let’s Talk